Society for Photographic Education
45th National Conference – March 2008
March 13-16, 2008 in Denver, Colorado
Agents of Change: Art and Advocacy
The work of a photographic artist took center stage during the 108th United States Congress. On the agenda was the fate of drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). According to Secretary Gale Norton ANWR was “a flat white nothingness.” In response, Senator Barbara Boxer denounced drilling and held up a book of photographs by Subhanker Banerjee that showed the refuge brimming with life. Congress voted to save ANWR from drilling for two more years.
Lens-based artists have been catalysts for change with imagery that advocates social and environmental awareness. Artists bear witness, interpret, expose and address problems ranging from the Aids epidemic and stereotypes in race and gender to the plight of refugees in war torn countries. In what ways are artists responding to the local and global challenges that are reshaping politics, cultures, economies and the planet? As educators, artists and scholars, what has been the historical impact of our advocacy? What role will we play in shaping the future?
For additional information go to http://www.spenational.org/conference/conf2008/index.html